Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Maybe one of my best ideas - EVER!

I don't know about you- but I hate the nightly ritual of trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I had a wonderful mother. She used her talents and all her patience in raising four kids. BUT cooking was not one of her talents or interest. So I didn't grow up with a firm example of "Home made meals on the table" every night. Now that I am a mother, I completely understand! It's a lot of work and preparation for an audience that would prefer mac-n-cheese every night. It's a hard blow to my fragile cooking conscience to hear, "YUCK! THIS IS GROSS!" - every night.
So, one day while I was trying to but a grocery list together and think of meals.. I had the brilliant idea to get input from my family. I told everyone they get to pick 5 meals for the upcoming month. NO REPEATS and no FAST FOOD. The family favorites were suggested first; Sloppy Joe's, Spaghetti, Peanut Butter Chicken (Chicken Satay), Mac-n-cheese and Hot dogs, Roast with mashed potatoes and gravy, BBQ Chicken legs (We've never had that- but Hunter insists I make it.)
Then it got tricky. The boys started to complain, " This is hard!?"
I replied, " I know.. I go through this every night when I try to think of what to cook."
"Why don't you name somethings you make..." my husband offers.
I think this is comical. He has eaten almost every meal I've ever made... why couldn't he think of some favorites? Not too many favorites to pick from.. eh?
He then remembered my Pamper Chef phase of cooking and suggested a few of those favorites; Taco Ring and Brunch Pizza.
THEN we had to get creative.
Breakfast for dinner night, Baked Potato bar with chili, Soup and Grilled Cheese sandwiches
THEN I pulled out my old Taste of Home Magazines.(My mom had given me a subscription one Christmas.)We looked at the pictures and picked a few new recipes to try ... A crock-pot stew, chicken corn fritters, etc..
It took an hour or so... but now what I have in my hands is GOLD! (It's GOLD I tell you!)
I looked at our calendar for the month and placed easy meals on busy days.
I'll confess, I did open one night this month for a PIZZA night. ( I personally love PIZZA and the thought of not having Pizza for a whole month- just doesn't seem right.)
What has been an added perk- to not having to wonder what to make for dinner is... there are fewer nights were kids complain, "YUCK, THIS IS GROSS!"
I have piece of mind, knowing that SOMEONE picked it for dinner.
I haven't done this- but I think I should... that the person who picked dinner gets to help make dinner. I think the boys would love that.
What are you making for dinner tonight?

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